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Helping Students Explore The World Through Reading

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” 

– Martin Luther King Jr.

The Pasadena Educational Foundation knows the importance of putting great books in the hands of children. Books are great levelers – access to them broadens horizons and furthers equity. And while learning remotely, it’s more important than ever to give children the opportunity to explore the world from their own homes.

That’s why we were thrilled to team up with the Tournament of Roses and Literati Kids to donate 3,000 new children’s books to Pasadena Unified School District students in grades 5 – 12. A premier children’s book subscription service, Literati curated these books with an eye towards diversity while furthering history, art, and science education. Some of the titles include: Chirri & Chirra Underground, A Nest for Celeste, The Secret Life of Spies, and Walk Two Moons.

“The Tournament of Roses has been a great partner for us by contributing to our teacher grants program,” says Patrick Conyers, PEF Executive Director. “This is a new program and we are so grateful to put these books in the hands of students. We know how transformative a book can be. And especially at a moment like this.”

Kicked off on Martin Luther King Jr. Day – a National Day of Service, the book distribution will culminate on Read Across America Day, when Tournament members will serve as virtual guest readers for PUSD students. “That’s the thing about books,” says Pulitzer prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri. “They let you travel without moving your feet.”

Special thanks to Tournament of Roses and Literati for helping us give PUSD students the opportunity to discover!


By Nancy Carol Inguanzo, Community Engagement & Volunteer Manager